Chestertown, MD, December 21, 2006 — It was a veritable book bonanza on a recent wintry afternoon at Clifton M. Miller Library, as Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience made its yearly donation-delivery of a mountain of new volumes on early America.
The books are all entrants in the annual George Washington Prize, now in its third year. One of the nation's largest literary awards, the George Washington Prize honors outstanding books that contribute to a greater public understanding of the life and career of George Washington and/or America's founding era. Conceived and administered at the Starr Center (in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and George Washington's Mount Vernon), the $50,000 annual prize is awarded by a panel of nationally distinguished historians.
One of the prerequisites for entering the George Washington Prize competition is that the publisher must supply one extra copy of the book for donation to Miller Library. The result? Virtually every major book regarding the founding period published each year is now ending up in the Miller Library collection. And such will be the case, year by year, from here on in, thanks to the George Washington Prize. It amounts to a true book-acquisition coup for WC's library. "One of the things that excites me most about the program," remarked Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the Starr Center, "is that it serves as a conduit for all of these volumes straight into Miller Library."
The number of George Washington Prize entrants continues to grow. "This year we got in more titles than ever before," said Goodheart.
The donation to the library amounts to some 52 books, with a total retail value of approximately $1,800.
"It certainly strengthens our collection on George Washington, the Founders, and the whole founding era," said an appreciative Dr. Ruth Shoge, Director of Miller Library. "I'm impressed with the wide variety of subjects on the era ... the financial aspects, slavery, gender ... I think the scholarship is really opening up on that period, beyond the Founders to other issues we still grapple with."
Goodheart likewise noted the great diversification that is the concomitant result of the current proliferation of Colonial/Revolutionary historiography. In addition to a healthy number of new titles about Washington and other household-name heroes of early America, "We're now seeing a flood of books on lesser known aspects ... advancing our knowledge of the period in many ways."
Meanwhile, the prestigious George Washington Prize judging panel is perusing industriously, narrowing down the field. (And as the number of books vying for the prize continues to grow, so too does the amount of reading for the judges.) The ultimate winner will be announced in May.
The exhaustive roundup of entrants from literally dozens of publishing houses was handled by the hardworking duo of Interim Book Prize Coordinator Charles Hohman '05 and Starr Center Program Manager Kees deMooy '01.
- Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers by Brooke Allen (Ivan R. Dee)
- A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation by Catherine Allgor (Henry Holt)
- The Declaration of Independence: A Global History by David Armitage (Harvard University Press)
- A Nation Among Nations: America's Place in World History by Thomas Bender (Hill and Wang)
- Rape & Sexual Power in Early America by Sharon Block (University of North Carolina Press)
- George Mason, Forgotten Founder by Jeff Broadwater (University of North Carolina Press)
- What Would The Founders Do?: Our Questions, Their Answers by Richard Brookhiser (Basic Books)
- Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism by Eric Burns (PublicAffairs)
- The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America by Colin G. Calloway (Oxford University Press)
- Founding Fighters: The Battlefield Leaders That Made American Independence by Alan C. Cate (Praeger Security International)
- The General and Mrs. Washington by Bruce Chadwick (Sourcebooks)
- Thomas Jefferson: Reputation and Legacy by Francis D. Cogliano (University of Virginia Press)
- Frederick Douglass and the Fourth of July by James A. Colaiaco (Palgrave Macmillan)
- A Well Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America by Saul Cornell (Oxford University Press)
- A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders: Electricity and Enlightenment in Early Americaby James Delbourgo (Harvard University Press)
- The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America's Most Elusive Founding Father by Douglas Ambrose and Robert W. T. Martin, eds. (New York University Press)
- In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nationby François Furstenberg (Penguin Group USA)
- Emancipating New York: The Politics of Slavery and Freedom 1777-1827 by David N. Gellman (Louisiana State University Press)
- Interpreting the Founding: Guide to the Enduring Debates Over the Origins and Foundations of the American Republic by Alan Gibson (University of Kansas Press)
- Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution by Joseph T. Glatthaar & James Kirby Martin (Hill and Wang)
- "I Tremble For My Country": Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Gentry by Ronald L. Hatzenbuehler (University Press of Florida)
- Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington by Peter R. Henriques (University of Virginia Press)
- The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty by William Hogeland (Simon and Schuster)
- The Faiths of the Founding Fathers by David L. Holmes (Oxford University Press)
- Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson: Rediscovering the Founding Fathers of American Architecture by Hugh Howard (Bloomsbury USA)
- John Paul Jones: America's First Sea Warrior by Joseph F. Callo (Naval Institute Press)
- M'Cullough v. Maryland: Securing a Nation by Mark R. Killenbeck (University of Kansas Press)
- Jefferson and the Press: Crucible of Liberty by Jerry W. Knudson (University of South Carolina Press)
- James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights by Richard Labunski (Oxford University Press)
- Experiencing Mount Vernon: Eyewitness Accounts, 1784-1865 by Jean B. Lee, ed. (University of Virginia Press)
- Sex Among the Rabble: An Intimate History of Gender & Power in the Age of Revolution, Philadelphia, 1730-1830 by Clare A. Lyons (University of North Carolina Press)
- American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation by Jon Meacham (Random House)
- Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark and Manifest Destiny by Robert J. Miller (Praeger Publishers)
- Not Your Usual Founding Father: Selected Readings from Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan, ed. (Yale University Press)
- The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution by Gary B. Nash (Harvard University Press)
- Patriot Sons, Patriot Brothers by Hugh O. Nash, Jr. (Westview Publishing)
- Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution and the Birth of Modern Nations by Craig Nelson (Viking Adult Books)
- Washington's God: Religion, Liberty and the Father of Our Country by Michael & Jana Novak (Basic Books)
- George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots by Dave R. Palmer (Regnery Publishing)
- Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution by Mark Puls (Palgrave Macmillan)
- Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and their Global Quest for Liberty by Cassandra Pybus (Beacon Press)
- Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, The Slave Trade and the American Revolution by Charles Rappeleye (Simon and Schuster)
- Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose (Bantam Dell)
- Republicanism, Religion and the Soul of America by Ellis Sandoz (University of Missouri Press)
- Rough Crossings: Britain, The Slaves and the American Revolution by Simon Schama (Ecco Publishing)
- The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution by Alan Taylor (Knopf)
- Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll (Norton)
- The Unexpected George Washington: His Private Life by Harlow Giles Unger (Wiley)
- George Washington's Enforcers: Policing the Continental Army by Harry M. Ward (Southern Illinois University Press)
- Re-creating the American Past: Essays on the Colonial Revival by Richard Guy Wilson, Shaun Eyring and Kenny Marotta, eds. (University of Virginia Press)
- Race and Liberty in the New Nation: Emancipation in Virginia from the Revolution to Nat Turner's Rebellion by Eva Sheppard Wolf (Louisiana State University Press)
- Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon S. Wood (Penguin Group USA)
- Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich by Robert E. Wright & David J. Cowen (University of Chicago Press)
- Liberty Tree: Ordinary People and the American Revolution by Alfred F. Young (New York University Press)